Ariat Work Boots Review

by Purposeful Footwear - Last Updated: February 17, 2019

The Ariat brand is advertised as one of the most reliable and hard-wearing work boots on the market. So with such bold claims associated with the line-up, I decided to dive in and find out whether it truly stood up to the challenge. With literally hundreds of consumer reviews and hours’ worth of product information and resources, it wasn’t hard to discover that the Ariat Work Books are definitely a top notch choice for any demanding work environment.

Would I call the absolute best on the market? Probably not. Of course, each design comes with its own design issues and flaws. But all in all, the boots do their job and provide you the bare essentials that you need in order to make the most of every work day. So despite having a few flaws here and there, they’re still worth the recommendation.

Interested in learning more about the different work boots from Ariat? Find out with this complete guide and product round-up.

A Look and Feel for Every Kind of Worker

Sure, who really cares what their shoes look like when they’re working a demanding 9 to 5? While it’s not necessarily the most important feature of a blue collar boot, it’s still worth mentioning that the Ariat line of work boots serves up some pretty versatile looks to cater to every kind of worker.

The Ariat Workhog 8” Work Boot for instance, is one of the better looking choices on the list. Featuring slightly distressed leather uppers with a decorative, removable kiltie, the boot definitely looks like something you might even wear when you’re off duty. The design is also available in a number of colorways, including a beautiful Golden Grizzly semi-polished leather finish that could pass off as a casual boot.

Image of the Ariat Men's Workhog 8

Then there are choices like the Rebar Flex 6” H20 Work Boot. Compared to other boots in the Ariat line-up, this one’s definitely a bit of a misfit. The aesthetic makes it look more like a hiking boot, and at a glance, it definitely does look hard-wearing. On the field, that remains to be true. The leather, mesh, and rubber used to construct the design are all put together with the highest level of expert craftsmanship and construction, giving it a hard-wearing build that’s apparent from just the way it looks.

Signature Work Boot Design

Scanning the different Ariat work boot designs however, it’s easy to see that neither of the two previous are their bread and butter. In fact, the company prefers to leverage the classic cowboy boot silhouette, which they use for most of their designs including the ever popular Groundbreaker Pull On Work Boot.

Image of the Ariat Work Men's Groundbreaker Work Boot, Brown, 9.5 D US

The leather and nylon boot was designed for rugged use, but features intricate stitching around the shaft to give it a little more visual appeal. Seams connecting the bottom half to the top half of the uppers effectively designate a creasing area around the ankles to prevent damaging the rest of the uppers. This makes it possible for the work boot to maintain its clean, smooth appearance even after some time of use.

Arguably the Most Responsive Work Boot

Across their different designs, Ariat uses an extra comfort insole that’s designed to give you significant rebound with each step. During heel strike, the comfort insoles propel you forward by using stored energy to rock your foot forward. This creates an effortless step that’s more efficient to give you more energy during your shift.

Based on what I’ve learned, the most comfortable work boot in the line-up is the Workhog Pull On H20 Work Boot. Aside from incorporating the responsive insole, the boot also has a pretty much seamless interior. Free from bumps, stitches, and other factors that could affect overall comfort, they can feel almost like a second skin.

Image of the Ariat Men's Workhog Pull-on H2O Composite Toe Work Boot, Aged Bark/Army Green, 14 M US

What’s more, the Workhog Pull On H20 Work Boot uses some of the most pliable leather uppers throughout the entire product line up that Ariat has to offer. That said, the boots are nothing short of a dream to use, even in the most demanding of work environments.

A close contender in terms of comfort would have to be the Overdrive 8” Wide Square Toe Composite Toe Work Boot. Designed for users with particularly wider feet, this boot features plush padding and cushions around the collar and tongue, giving you a snug yet comfortable fit that’s easy on the skin.

Then of course, there are a few disappointments. ThePowerline 8” H20 Composite Toe Work Boot for example, doesn’t quite compare to the comfort that its Ariat brothers offer. The boot’s overall weight ultimately dampens responsiveness. So it doesn’t really provide the same responsiveness as other choices. Plus, its stiff leather uppers and unforgiving soles make walking very unnatural.

Stellar Support and Traction Across All Designs

Blue collar work is hazardous, so no one wants to be walking around in a pair of boots that might cause an accident. The Ariat line of boots takes that into consideration, and offers some of the best outsole treads in the industry.

The sythetic soles on the Ariat Sierra Work Boot feature superb oil and slip resistance. This allows you to take strides in confidence knowing your feet are firmly planted with each step.

Other designs, like the Powerline, make up for comfort issues by providing the most robust soles that the company has to offer. With an aggressive tread pattern etched deeply into a rugged set of Vibram soles, the Powerline Boot definitely proves to be one of the safest in terms of slip and oil resistance.

Support wise, the 8” and 6” work boots definitely do their job. Designs like the Mesteno Wide Square H20 Composite Toe Work Boot or theRebar Flex 6” Work Boot provide enough stability around the ankles to prevent over inversion and eversion. Each boot also features a perfectly contoured insole. This accommodates the arches of the feet in the best way possible to prevent chronic pain and discomfort.

An Ultra-Hardy Design for Rugged Users

Work boots are subject to some of the most demanding situations. So anything that isn’t built to the highest of standards might not last even just a few weeks of use. The Ariat line-up of work boots promises to stay pristine and damage-free for years after you first pop them out of the box, which of course, are pretty bold claims considering the way blue collar work environments can be.

True to its promise though, Ariat work boots are definitely built to stand the tests of time, wear, and tear. The boots effortlessly make it through some of the most challenging situations without showing signs of wear and tear.

Personally, I’ve found that the Rebar Flex 6” H2O Work Bootand the Powerline Work Boot are the best when it comes to durability. The ultra robust designs are bulky and chunky which may take away from comfort. But the construction does make up for it in terms of hardiness.

Other work boots that follow the cowboy boot design are durable in their own right. But scuffing and creasing can make them look a little worn out over time. Fortunately, this worn out appearance doesn’t necessarily affect performance. So if you’re not too keen on maintain looks, then this shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Pros of the Ariat Work Boot Line-Up

  • Lots of different designs to choose from, with varying aesthetics to suit every discriminating taste.
  • Responsive insole provides great energy efficiency for a bouncier and less effortful step.
  • Cowboy boot silhouette work boots have pliable leather uppers with stitching along the ankles. This works as a dedicated fold to accommodate natural gait cycles.
  • Traction and support are undeniably reliable, allowing you to step in confidence.
  • Hard wearing design promises to stay intact for years after you first use them.

Cons of the Ariat Work Boot Line-Up

  • Some boot designs can be too heavy for comfort.
  • Cowboy work boot styles are prone to scuffing and creasing.

The Bottom Line

Given everything I’ve learned about the brand and the different options they offer, it’s easy to see why so many recommend the Ariat work boots. The ultra durable designs, reliable traction and support, impressive comfort, and efficient traction make them the ideal work boot for a variety of demanding work environments.

Personally, I think the Groundbreaker Pull On Work Boot is the cream of the crop. The design gives you all the features you need in order to guarantee a hassle and injury-free work experience. If you’re looking for something a little more reinforced, the boot design is also available in a steel-toe variation. This gives extra protection for those who need it.

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